• Dr. Jitendra Katre

"Black and white" infrared photography

Essentially infrared light always produces 'black and white' images, they cannot produce colors, because they lie in the range which is invisible to us. Only when some amount of visible light is mixed with infrared light, the image gets some color. Intensity of colors depend upon the amount of normal light is mixed with infrared light.

Therefore, making black-and-white infrared image is relatively straight forward, there is no need to use some normal light and editing is easier.

Tonality in such images depends upon the amount of infrared light being reflected from various elements in our composition. Green vegetation usually reflects most of the infrared light, and therefore appear glossy white. Water and sky absorb almost all infrared light and therefore appear very dark. These images inherently have very good contrast and certainly look different from regular black-and-white images.

These images can be so contrasty and spectacular, that many people convert their camera permanently for only black-and-white work.

Infrared light gets reflected from deeper layers of human skin. This is the reason why skin gets a kind of glow, which gives a portrait a surreal quality. Same is true in case leaves.

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